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Paranormal Fantasy Review: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (All Souls Trilogy #2)

borrowed from the library

Synopsis from Goodreads

Historian Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, and long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont have broken the laws dividing creatures. When Diana discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library,she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to Matthew. Now the fragile coexistence of witches, daemons, vampires and humans is dangerously threatened.

Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590. But they soon realise that the past may not provide a haven. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy for Queen Elizabeth, the vampire falls back in with a group of radicals known as the School of Night. Many are unruly daemons, the creative minds of the age, including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot.

Together Matthew and Diana scour Tudor London for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782, and search for the witch who will teach Diana how to control her remarkable powers...

Amazon  US/UK(£3.85) | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond


* * *
 Oh God, this was such a gorgeous history fest, I was probably slobbering in my excitement all over this (library) book! *only joking*

Joking aside, I love Elizabethan times, and Deborah Harkness as a true historian delivered it beautifully - Kit freaking Marlow, you were such a jerk, Sir! John Dee, Walter Raleigh, William Cecil, effing Bess herself and many more...

This was an amazing, exhilarating ride and I was absorbing all the fabulous little details that really made me fall into the time frame of the book. 

You can probably see that this review won't be coherent because when I love a book THAT much it's hard to say all the things I want to without giving you any spoilers.

Shadow of Night is no less exciting and is no less frustrating than A Discovery of WItches, it's just set in the past instead of present because Matthew and Diana timewalk into Elizabethan past in order for her to learn how to control the gift and give them a much needed reprieve from hounding them Congregation.

I've seen some comparison to Twilight considering lack of sex between Matthew and Diana, and it's true to some extent for the first book... but make no mistake, de Clairmont is no Edward and as a very old vampire (we are talking 1000+ years old) he is very cautious, controlled, unhurried and not eager to reveal his numerous secrets. He is also extremely complex, prone to animal possessiveness and loves and grieves too deeply. 

Diana slowly chips away at his defences, but it takes time, and their understanding of each other and development of their relationships move slowly. However, when Matthew at last gives in partly with the help of his magnificent vampire father (I have a crash on Phillip, sorry) there is plenty of intimacy between Diana and him.

Phillip and Gallowglass - only two of numerous supporting characters I absolutely adored, and I'm staking my claim on them *grinning* LOVED them! There are just so many crazy and gorgeous and wonderful characters, you don't know where to start. There is Jack and Annie, scary vampire Master of London, charmer Raleigh, crazy Austrian emperor with a fixation on redheads... and many more.

I think it's the complexity of vampires among other things that won me over. I've been craving this...consistency, this depth without really thinking about it before. I dislike intensely when vampires are humanized to the point of absurdity while logically their enormous differences in strength, abilities and great longevity which distance them from pettiness of our everyday life is what makes them so mysterious and alluring to us.  

Shadow of Night delivers a bounty of delicious adventure, epic love, an intricate plot and complex characters. It also left me frustrated and awed because I might have gotten some answers but developed even more questions by the time it ended. Overall, I can't recommend it high enough. READ IT!

* * *
Боже, боже, какая роскошная книга! Гэбальдонисты, вам сюда! По сложности сюжета, количеству прекрасных персонажей, эпичной любви и глубине погружения в исторический период Дебора Харкнесс совершенно не уступает перу Дианы Гэбальдон. Она - историк по профессии, и это очень хорошо видно по её сосредоточенности на маленьких деталях Елизаветинской эры, ибо именно туда прыгают во времени Мэттью и Диана.

Перед парой стоит две задачи - спрятаться от Конгрегации и найти сильную ведьму, способную помочь Диане контролировать её дар. Конечно, если они найдут манускрипт, с которого начались их неприятности, Ашмор 782, это окажется приятным бонусом...

Однако, все хорошие планы имеют обыкновение меняться в лице реальности, и жизнь Дианы и Мэттью вместо задуманной передышки превращается в полный хаос с приключениями похлеще предыдущих и столкновениеми с огромным количеством исторических личностей. Находясь в прошлом, они также невольно меняют настоящее, оставляя следы, которые лихорадочно заметают их друзья и родственники, посвящённый в их планы.

Я читала, захлёбываясь от восторга, и вам советую. Не проходите мимо этой замечательной серии! 
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